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  • Naples Contributor

56th Annual Naples Flower Show, ‘It’s In The Bag’

nfs.jpgNaples Garden Club and Naples Botanical Garden will once again present the Naples Flower Show on March 28 from 10 am - 4 pm and March 29 from 11 am - 4 pm. Naples Garden Club will stage its 56th annual juried Flower Show, It's in the Bag, a satirical look at America's recent shopping habits when conspicuous consumption was both recreation and therapy and what one bought had nothing to do with need. What goes "in the bag" now is more likely to come from resale shops than designer's boutiques.

Demonstrations of horticulture and design techniques as well as talks on plumeria and tillandsias are scheduled. See schedule below for specific topic and time. The music of Naples Klezmer Revival Band, Golden Gate High School's Steel Drum Band, and guitarist Frank Smith will be featured.

Vendors of unusual plants, unique jewelry, and handcrafted items will grace the popular Garden Market. Lunch and snacks will be available for purchase.

Naples Garden Club was founded in 1953 by 30 keen gardeners and has since grown to a membership of 175. The organization is a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc., and offers programs in design and horticulture including a general meeting held at Moorings Presbyterian Church on the first Monday of each month (November-April). The Club's annual House and Garden Tour raises money for scholarships for local students and grants to organizations such as Naples Botanical Garden.

Naples Botanical Garden members and children under 12 are admitted free of charge; all other admissions are $5 each. Naples Botanical Garden is located at 4820 Bayshore Drive, just five minutes from downtown Naples.

For more information please call the Naples Garden Club at 262-1272 or Naples Botanical Garden at 643-7275.

Saturday, March 28th 12 noon Flower Arranging for the Home 
2 pm Mounting and Growing Tillandsias 
Sunday, March 29th 12 noon 
Container Gardening for Your Lanai 
2 pm Plumeria Care

Naples Garden Club was founded in 1953 by 30 keen gardeners and has since grown to a membership of 175. The organization is a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc., and offers programs in design and horticulture including a general meeting held at the Naples Botanical Garden on the first Monday of each month (November-April). The Club's annual House and Garden Tour raises money for scholarships for local students and grants to organizations such as Naples Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity, The Garden of Hope and Courage, and Immokalee Friendship House.

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will include cultivated gardens of Brazil, the Caribbean, and a hands-on interactive Children's Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. The Garden will open to the public in November 2009. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Naples Botanical Garden has named Wilson G. Bradshaw to their Board of Directors

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Naples Botanical Garden has named Wilson G. Bradshaw to their Board of Directors. Dr. Bradshaw is currently president of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).

“We are so pleased to have Dr. Bradshaw join our Board of Directors,” stated Judy Sproul, Board Chairman. “We are looking forward to his leadership in our community and the partnership that will benefit both the University and the Naples Botanical Garden. As we look to break ground on the Garden’s and FGCU’s Center for Education and Research later this month, the addition of Dr. Bradshaw is timely and serves to strengthen this key partnership. This shared-use facility will be the core of our research efforts.” Prior to joining FGCU Dr. Bradshaw served as president of Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN, for seven years. He previously held the posts of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bloomsburg University and dean of graduate studies at Florida Atlantic University.

Born in Sanford, FL, and raised in West Palm Beach, Bradshaw earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Florida Atlantic University, and a doctorate in psychobiology from the University of Pittsburgh. During his tenure at Metropolitan State, Dr. Bradshaw served on the Board of Directors of Securian Financial Group Inc., the Bush Foundation, the Greater St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, the St. Paul Police Foundation and numerous other organizations.

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will include cultivated gardens of Brazil, the Caribbean, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. The Garden will open to the public in November 2009. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Naples Botanical Garden Names Juliet C. Sproul Board Chairman

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Naples Botanical Garden’s Board of Directors has unanimously selected Juliet (Judy) C. Sproul as their Board Chairman. “With the grand opening before us, we are extremely fortunate to have Judy Sproul as our new chairperson. She has been chairing the Project Committee of the Board of Directors for several years and her transition to leading the Garden will be seamless” stated Brian Holley, Executive Director.

Ms. Sproul most recently served as Naples Botanical Garden’s Vice Chairman and has been a member of the Garden’s Board for eight years. She currently serves on the Board of Directors, Barron Collier Companies. Ms. Sproul is a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation; she serves on the Chairman’s Council, YMCA of the Palms; the Advisory Board, The Community School of Naples; a member of Trinity-by-the-Cove. Ms. Sproul has previously served on the Board of Directors, Naples Philharmonic. She was recipient of Edison College Life Achievement Award 2006; Junior Achievement Laureate in 2004 and chosen as Naples Daily News Outstanding Citizen in 2003 and is a 1995 graduate of Leadership Collier. She follows Charles M. (Chuck) Berger as Board Chairman for the Garden. Mr. Berger passed away in December 2008.

“I am proud to follow in Chuck's capable footsteps as we work towards making Harvey Kapnick's vision a reality,” said Ms. Sproul. “Naples Botanical Garden will be a place for generations of Neapolitans and all who visit here to enjoy.” The current 170-acre property at Bayshore and Thomasson Drives was purchased with the support of Harvey Kapnick, philanthropist and Garden Director in Memoriam, and the Kapnick Family Foundation.

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will include cultivated gardens of Brazil, the Caribbean, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. The Garden will open to the public in November 2009. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Naples Botanical Garden presented with WRAP award

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Naples Botanical Garden was presented with the Waste Reduction Awareness Program (WRAP) Award by the Board of Collier County Commissioners on Tuesday, January 27, 2009. The WRAP Award goes to businesses that have integrated new, expanded, exceptional and/or innovative recycling and/or waste reduction efforts into their solid waste management system.

“We have a dedicated group of employees at Naples Botanical Garden we call ‘The Green Team’ who take on the additional responsibility of ensuring the Garden lives up to the message of being good environmental citizens,” stated Janele Smith, Green Team member. “We constantly strive for ways to improve our own practices. Our goal is to set a good example for other businesses in the area on how easy it is to engage in green business practices,” added fellow team member, Rich Lewis.

Efforts Naples Botanical Garden took to be a greener Garden:

  • Purchase business cards, paper, paper towels, toilet paper and envelopes with recycled content.
  • Recycle all plastics, cans, cardboard, magazines, newspapers, junk mail and office paper
  • Buy refillable / recyclable ink cartridges
  • Minimize the use of paper by maintaining digital files
  • Publish documents electronically; post one copy at staff bulletin board
  • Use the backsides of old photocopies and surplus paper for notes and scratch paper
  • Eliminate the use of paper, plastic, and Styrofoam dishware by using environmentally friendly dishware and reusable dishware
  • Provide staff and volunteers with reusable water bottles and ceramic coffee mugs
  • Composting yard and garden waste
  • Provide cardboard boxes at staff desks for the easy collection of recyclable office paper
  • Utilize shredded newspaper as mulch
  • Switched from irrigating with city water to irrigating with water from our lake and initiated the use of rain barrels
  • Shutting off lights when not in use — utilize daylight when possible
  • Installed programmable A/C thermostats
  • Use organic I natural pesticides

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will include cultivated gardens of Brazil, the Caribbean, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. The Garden will open to the public in November 2009. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Naples Botanical Garden to open November 2009

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Brian Holley, Executive Director of Naples Botanical Garden, today announced that the Garden will open to the public in November, 2009. At that time, three major gardens – the Vicky C. and David Byron Smith Children’s Garden, Brazilian Garden, and Kathleen and Scott Kapnick Caribbean Garden – as well as the Mary and Stephen B. Smith River of Grass will welcome their first visitors.

Naples Botanical Garden also includes the Collier Enterprises South Wetlands Preserve, a unique 90-acre nature sanctuary with seven different ecosystems. In the Preserve will be the James and Linda White Birding Tower.

“We wanted residents of and visitors to Southwest Florida to experience the Garden as soon as possible,” Holley comments. “So, we decided to open these major Garden components as they are completed. We simply can’t wait to share our excitement about creating this major cultural asset.” Board member Judy Sproul adds, “We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have worked for many years on this incredible project. The remarkable visionaries who conceived it, the generous donors who fund it, the enthusiastic members and volunteers who support it, the governmental officials who assisted it, the capable staff who nurture it…all can take great pride in an accomplishment of this magnitude.”

Kraft Construction is the general contractor for the Garden’s construction; the project is on budget and ahead of schedule.

A weeklong celebration beginning November 9th is now being planned in connection with the opening.

It is anticipated that the remaining components, the Karen and Robert Scott Florida Garden and Marcia and L. Bates Lea Asian Garden, will open in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The interactive Vicky C. and David Byron Smith Children’s Garden, designed by renowned landscape architect, Herb Schaal, will delight children, parents and grandparents alike with waterfalls, tree houses, seven child-size recreations of native habitat, weird and wonderful plants, and a hidden garden filled with fanciful plantings in found objects. Since this is a children’s garden, children’s input was critical. Eight workshops with kids, aged from 3 to 13 were conducted mostly at schools around the region. They were asked to draw a picture of what their dream garden would look like. Drawings were analyzed for the frequency of features such as butterflies or mazes to prioritize which elements should be included in the garden. The resulting design embodies the children’s inventiveness and joy of life.

The Brazilian Garden, homage to the incredible diversity of Brazilian flora, also pays tribute to one if its favorite sons, renowned landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. The Brazilian Garden will be bold and true to its roots, a tribute to this internationally famous garden designer. Its centerpiece will be an original Burle Marx ceramic mural; a massive 7 by 18 foot piece that is the only one of its kind in the United States. A gift to Naples Botanical Garden by the designer of the Brazilian Garden, Raymond Jungles of Miami, the mural is actually making its début at Brazilian Modern, a Jungles-designed presentation for the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show opening in February.

With the Kathleen and Scott Kapnick Caribbean Garden, designer Robert Truskowski is creating a one-acre reflection of his several trips to the Caribbean. His vision is to create a garden that essentially communicates the history of this region from its pre-Columbian verdant forest to its role as botanical reserve during the age of explorers to the current importance of its agriculture industry. The Mary and Stephen B. Smith River of Grass reflects the most dominant feature of the South Florida landscape – the Everglades. The power of this landscape, dubbed the River of Grass by Marjory Stoneham Douglas, resonated with the design team. They came up with the idea of creating a grassy swale as the axis or backbone of the Garden to pay homage to the Everglades and give the Garden a strong sense of place. The view from the top of the River of Grass leads the eye out to a pine and palm hammock and the sawgrass wetland beyond.

The Collier Enterprises South Wetlands Preserve’s giant pines and ancient cypress, unspoiled marshes and twisted mangroves help provide a vital corridor of habitat for otters, bobcats, hawks, eagles and other wildlife. Hundreds of species of native plants also thrive here. The Garden is committed to returning this incredible microcosm of Southwest Florida nature to pristine wilderness that will forever be protected and preserved. Within the Preserve, the James and Linda White Birding Tower, which is set on a migratory path, is ideally situated to allow participants the opportunity to see northern harrier hawks, migrating ducks, white pelicans and wading birds in this beautiful natural habitat.

The Naples Botanical Garden was conceived by hundreds of visionary individuals who overcame countless obstacles to secure the site and dream of the possibilities for our community. In 1994 a small group gathered at the Naples Library and envisioned a botanical garden. Six years later, with the support of Harvey Kapnick, the Kapnick Family Foundation and the cooperation of Collier Enterprises, the current 170-acre property at Bayshore and Thomasson Drives was purchased, and dreams were becoming reality.

Members of the public can track construction progress of the expansion by visiting the Garden’s website at www.naplesgarden.org where the Garden is virtually open.

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will feature cultivated gardens of Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Florida, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Naples Botanical Garden launches Lifelong Learning Programs

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Naples Botanical Garden will debut its new Lifelong Learning schedule to the community beginning November 17th with the workshop Growing and Preparing Herbs presented by Pat Johnson. The Garden will host one lecture and one hands-on workshop per month from November until April 2009 focused on gardening and “green” best-practice themes. A special highlight of the season is a lecture and book signing by the designer of the Garden’s future Brazilian Garden, Raymond Jungles. His about-to-be-released book, The Colors of Nature: Subtropical Gardens by Raymond Jungles features his design plan and will bring the Naples project to an international audience before it is open to the public.

“For those looking for ways to improve their gardening skills, there are many varied subjects to choose,” said David Webb, Education Manager. “Whether you’re an advanced horticulturalist, or an optimistic “brown thumb,” the Lifelong Learning programs will be fun, interesting, and of value to those who attend.”

Class sizes are limited and those interested should register soon. All classes and lectures will be held at Naples Botanical Garden unless noted otherwise. Programs will last approximately 1-2 hours. Naples Botanical Garden members will receive a discount. Participants must register at least one week before the class date. Register by phone with a credit card during normal business hours: Monday- Friday 8:00am- 5:00pm. Phone number is 239.643.7275. For information and to print out a mail-in registration form, please visit www.naplesgarden.org. Registration forms will be processed in the order they are received.

HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS

Growing and Preparing Herbs

Monday, November 17, 10am
Join herbalist Pat Johnson as she demonstrates the mixing of herbs to make teas, vinegars, and oils. You will leave this hands-on workshop with a few samples of your own herbal creations and ready to make new blends at home.
$20 member/ $30 non-member

Green Clean: Safe and Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Home and Protect Your Planet

Tuesday, January 20, 10am
Did you know that most commercial cleaners contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and ourselves? Jill Barry and Hallie Deegan Lundon will guide you in creating your own eco-friendly household cleaners that might just perform better than store-bought products! You will take home your new products with their recipes and other eco-friendly home tips.
$20 member/ $30 non-member

Rain Barrels and Florida Rain Gardens: Simple Techniques to Conserve Water and Reduce Water Pollution

Monday, February 2, 10am
Location: The City of Naples Norris Community Center This is a must for every Collier County resident! Naples Botanical Garden is pleased to offer this workshop in partnership with the University of Florida, Collier County, and the City of Naples. Mike Malloy, coordinator for the University of Florida’s “Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Rain Barrel Program” will instruct you on how to use a rain barrel at home to collect storm water runoff from your roof for use in irrigation. Additionally, you will learn about the benefits of rain gardens, the impacts of your landscaping practices, and how to easily employ more sustainable, environmentally friendly alternatives. The registration fee includes a complete rain barrel kit for each participant.
$60 member/ $75 non-member

Repotting and Mounting Orchids

Tuesday, March 17, 10am
Have you ever purchased an orchid and watched it wither away while you wondered how you might revive it? Join Sandy Catron and Carolyn Miller for this workshop of orchid basics and learn how to repot and even mount your orchids to ensure a longer life and lots of new flowers! BYOO (bring your own orchid) – if you do not have your own, we will provide a small one for you.
$20 member/ $30 non-member

Training Trees and Shrubs

Tuesday, April 21, 10am
Learn professional secrets about how simple pruning techniques can make a tree or shrub more visually appealing, and increase the quality and number of flowers and fruit while improving its longevity. Our own Horticulture Manager Brian Galligan will share his expertise with you in this hands-on workshop.
$20 member/ $30 non-member

LECTURES

Utilizing Native Plants in Your Yard

Wednesday, November 19, 10am
Discover the benefits of using native plants in your yard, which species are ideal and some simple tips for success as Chad Washburn discusses why native plants are low-maintenance, inexpensive, and attract birds and other wildlife.
$15 member/ $20 non-member

Tropical Fruits Made Simple

Tuesday, December 2, 10am
Have you ever wondered what the secret is to making your fruit trees fruitful? Join local experts David and Jenny Burd as they share their successes in growing tropical fruits in Collier County. What a delicious topic!
$15 member/ $20 non-member

Supermarket Botany: the Botanical Nature of Common Fruits and Vegetables Grown in Gardens

Tuesday, January 6, 10am
Just how much do plants affect each of us every day? Dr. George Wilder, our Herbarium Curator and Botanist, will share some botany basics about some of your favorite foods, ensuring you’ll never look at an onion the same way. This is one you will surely not want to miss!
$15 member/ $20 non-member

An Exciting Botanical Travel Log on Hawaii

Tuesday, February 3, 10am
Carolyn Miller, Curator of Collections at Naples Botanical Garden, spent time in Hawaii studying the Islands’ unique flora and collecting numerous exceptional photographs. Get to know the real Hawaii as she shares her fascinating stories of discovery, along with spectacular images.
$15 member/ $20 non-member

“The Colors of Nature: Subtropical Gardens by Raymond Jungles”

Tuesday, March 3, 10am
Award-winning landscape architect and designer, Raymond Jungles, will discuss his plans for Naples Botanical Garden’s Brazilian Garden as well as 20 other design projects from around Florida. His new book, “The Colors of Nature,” will be available at a book-signing following the lecture.
$15 member/ $20 non-member; limited seating

Best Sustainable Practices for Your Lawn and Garden

Tuesday, April 7, 10am
Alberto Chavez, Greenscape Coordinaor at Rookery Bay, will instruct you on environmentally friendly and effective grass, and plant selection; fertilizer and pesticide use; as well as mulching, pruning, and irrigation practices.
$15 member/ $20 non-member

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will feature cultivated gardens of Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Florida, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Hats in the Garden Fundraiser’s Patron party hosted by Collier Enterprises

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Collier Enterprises will host The Hats in the Garden Patron Party that precedes the Fifth Annual luncheon event benefiting Naples Botanical Garden. The Patron Party will take place on Tuesday, November 11th at 5:30pm at the Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club.

“We are so pleased to have Collier Enterprises host this event for us at their beautiful, new Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club,” said Brian Holley, Executive Director. “Collier Enterprises has been such a great friend to the Garden, providing critical support for our Collier Enterprises South Wetlands preserve area as well as hosting this party.”

Each year, major patrons of the Hats in the Garden luncheon are invited to this appreciation event that takes place the evening before the luncheon.

“With the support of Collier Enterprises, this year’s Patron Party, will be especially exquisite,” stated Karen Scott, event co-chair. “The Hamilton Harbor facilities are absolutely spectacular and we are so glad to be there,” added Vicky Smith, event co-chair.

Collier Enterprises manages a broad range of businesses engaged in real estate investment and development, agriculture and private equity investments. The company was established in 1976 under the leadership of Miles C. Collier, grandson of Collier County founder, Barron Gift Collier.

“Naples Botanical Garden is committed to conservation, which is very important to us,” said Tom Flood, president and CEO of Collier Enterprises. “The Garden will be a place where the community can come to enjoy the beauty of our environment while also learning about ways to preserve it.” For more information on Hats in the Garden contact Lisa Juliano at 239.643.7275 x30 or ljuliano@naplesgarden.org.

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will feature cultivated gardens of Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Florida, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Naples Botanical Garden invites the community to free pre-registered visits

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Naples Botanical Garden invites the community to pre-registered visitations of their Tropical Mosaic Garden. Currently closed to the general public due to expansion, the Garden will offer the visiting opportunities free of charge. To register, call 239-643-7275.

The cooler night temperatures of fall can produce subtle shifts of color, tender new growths, or trigger some plants like the Brunfelsias to flower. The Garden has several hugging the loggia that beckon with their scent, hence their common name, Ladies of the Night. The flowers usually are trumpet shaped but vary from yellow (B. lactea) to cream (B.‘Isola’), or cream with shades of blue (B. Americana). The most dramatic and well known is B. pauciflora, whose flowers change from purple, to pale lavender, to white.

Visiting times are 9:00 am – 12:00 pm unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, October 15

Saturday, October 18

Friday, November 28

Saturday, November 29

Friday, December 26

Saturday, December 27

Sunday, December 28 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will feature cultivated gardens of Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Florida, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Naples Botanical Garden’s 2008-09 season of events to be sponsored by Kraft Construction

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Naples Botanical Garden is pleased to announce that Kraft Construction is the sponsor of the Garden’s 2008-09 season of events.

“Kraft is known as the builder of our community, so it is natural that they have joined with us to lay a strong foundation of the Garden’s events,” said Brian Holley, Executive Director. “Kraft has been such a great supporter in many ways – last year they were presenting sponsor for our golf tournament. And, of course, we are partners on our expansion.”

The Garden’s season will include the upcoming Fifth Annual Hats in the Garden on Wednesday, November 12th, 2008. This event, the largest fundraiser of the Garden’s social season is nearly sold out. Those wishing to attend should contact Lisa Juliano at 239.643.7275 or ljuliano@naplesgarden.org.

In addition to Hats in the Garden, the Kraft Sponsorship will support the Seventh Annual Trunk Show in the Garden on Thursday, February 19th through Saturday, February 21st, 2009 and the Ninth Annual Swing into Spring Golf Tournament on Monday, April 6th, 2009.

Currently closed to the general public due to expansion, Naples Botanical Garden is poised to become one of the world’s great gardens. A team of nationally and internationally recognized leaders in landscape architecture, horticulture and green building design have created an elaborate mosaic of themed gardens. The gardens will feature the plants and cultures of Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean and Southwest Florida. In addition, a hands-on children’s garden will include a beautiful and interactive planting area, and will recreate seven child-sized Southwest Florida habitats.

For information on events, the Garden expansion and free, pre-registered visit dates throughout the expansion go to www.naplesgarden.org where the Garden is virtually open.

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will feature cultivated gardens of Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Florida, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.

  • Naples Contributor

Naples Botanical Garden 'virtually' open with newly launched website

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Naples Botanical Garden unveiled its new website – www.naplesgarden.org. Designed by the New York based design firm ESI, the new site features construction photos that allow visitors to track the progress of the Garden’s expansion as it builds out the 170-acre tropical garden paradise due to open November 2010. The Garden closed to general visitation in June 2008 to begin construction on the site at Thomasson and Bayshore Drives in Naples, and offers special visiting days by preregistration.

“We are very proud of the new website,” said Brian Holley, Executive Director, “it provides the opportunity to “virtually” visit the Garden, as well as giving the online visitor the opportunity to get involved in the Garden community. We hope to inform and entertain all users, and let them experience all the excitement of the new Garden. The website, like the Garden, will continue to grow and offer new opportunities for visitors.”

The site features interactive capabilities such as commenting on staff diary blogs – Director’s Blog, Gardens Blog and Preserve Blog. The Community Forest Blog allows people in the community to post information and images of trees they are growing for use in the future garden. Online visitors can also upload personal garden photos and link to garden games. The Garden’s construction process can be monitored with the Construction Slideshow of aerial and ground photographs that are updated regularly.

The website showcases the plans for the new Naples Botanical Garden that will incorporate gardens representing the plants and cultures found between the 26th North and South latitudes -- Florida, Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean and an interactive Children’s Garden, each designed by the world’s top landscape architects. A 90-acre sanctuary of seven natural ecosystems will make up the Preserve area that includes 300 species of native plants. A roll over interactive map allows web users to easily retrieve information from the exact area that each garden will be within the overall Garden. Descriptions, sketches and each landscape designer’s website can all be accessed.

Detailed information on opportunities for becoming a Garden member, volunteering and attending special pre-arranged visits to the Garden throughout the expansion process can be found on the website as well.

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will feature cultivated gardens of Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Florida, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.